Frederick & Nelson, Seattle. A Division of Marshall Field & Company

How the Marshall Plan Sold Europe to Americans

Department-store bazaars let consumers see how glamorous and sophisticated imported goods could be. Ooh, la la!
Martha Stewart, 2001

America’s Domestic Gurus Are Bad Girls

Why do the pages of shelter magazines for women seem so pristine? The answer is not what you think, according to one scholar.
Women form a human chain to carry bricks used in the reconstruction of Dresden, March 1946

Did Allied Bombs Destroy German Morale?

With men mostly absent, women and children dominated a small city called Darmstadt. Then "fire night" came.
Actor John Boles with extras from his latest musical, 'Redheads On Parade', 1935

The Rise of Hollywood’s “Extra Girls”

They didn't have to do anything besides stand around and look pretty. At least, that was the myth the studios wanted the public to believe.
Women's fashion catalogue images from the 1930s

The Back-to-School Shopping Tradition in History

As more women went to college, department stores catered to them by setting up pop-up "college shops" every September.
Photograph: Miss Beryl Goode, the well-known golfer, at her wedding to Mr W. J. G. Purnell, July 1913. 

Source: Getty

When Statutory Rape Laws Led to Forced Marriages

In early 20th-century New York, men accused of "ruining" women under eighteen could avoid prosecution by marrying them.
Photograph: Female fans of Frank Sinatra gaze adoringly at a picture of him in a copy of Modern Screen magazine, c. 1950

Source: Getty

How Teenage Girls Invented Fandom

They were mocked for their obsession with movies. But the fan culture they constructed help build Hollywood.
Girl Scouts, 1951

How American Girl Scouts Shocked Mexico in the 1950s

At a retreat center called Our Cabaña, girls from all over the world became Cold War–era diplomats. American scouts had additional ideas.
A Japanese woman cuts up radishes in her kitchen

The Unlikely Role of Kitchens in Occupied Japan

After World War II, "occupationaries" tried to spread American-style domesticity to Japanese women.
Two nuns caring for newborn babies, 1967

Inside a Home for Unwed Mothers

Young, unmarried pregnant women sometimes gave birth in secret at maternity homes. A historian uncovered some of their stories.